Hey, I Don't Have to Swim if I am the Race Director
Last November I stood on the banks of beautiful Lake Tahoe. I was taken by the setting and was thankful for this quick escape from the business world and meetings that were awaiting me back in Reno. Some deep breaths, a few snaps of the camera, site seeing, some monstrous pine cones thrown in my bag and we scrambled back on the bus to roll back to Reno. I was unsettled. My own scrambled mind filled with goals, dreams and plans of Dan Baier and myself to run around the Lake Tahoe the previous August.
This dream settled atop my dream bank a few years ago and this past summer, reality and some suffering were due to take us 165 miles around the lake in 8 days. The run was to have started in King's Beach, California, where I had stood just a few minutes ago and the view of a dream that had dissolved.
As the Tahoe Run loomed, an injury to my left knee had called my name. Loud and Clear. I can be a stubborn, determined person who has learned that diabetes can be demanding. To achieve some of my goals I have to possess a mind-set that goes well beyond demanding.
As the injury screamed at me and began to curse at me, I developed an agonizing limp and I realized that that strong determination was not going to sail me through 25 mile, rugged and difficult days in the Sierra's. The white surrender flag went up and the dream was shelved.
A trot around Lake Tahoe for diabetes, has been re-assigned to my "bucket list" but for the time being that bucket appears to have a hole in it. My story will transcend from the trails in the Sierra's to the 54 degree water in Sitka Sound via an ultra swimmer by the name of Claudia Rose. I would learn about Claudia and her proposed swim across Sitka Sound from John Dunlap, who would provide boat support, Ralph, would follow her in kayak support, Al would be her moral support, Claudia would provide 4.5 hours of swim strokes and I would provide some pictures and an open canvas to continue to etch new experiences.
(Claudia Rose on her swim across Sitka Sound)
Those 5 months of knee assault, averaging 2 miles of running a month, were probably the most difficult time in my life. I would move on (with a limp) and unbeknownst to me, this swim across Sitka Sound would open some doors and present some opportunities that were very different for this adventure seeker. Whether I was able to run or not. Living outside the box and outside the brain.
Ok, watching someone swim for 4.5 hours is not super exciting. Inside Dave's mind though I am thinking "this is amazing!". Endurance-based, 54 degree water, numerous jelly fish stings, no wet suit, 8.5 miles of cold conditions, shifting current . How awesome and impressive is this! I am forever an endurance junkie but for those who might ask, "Hey, I don't have to swim if I am the race director". And I could not. I don't swim. Period.
This swim lane has opened up and I am excited to offer a new event for the world swim community. This is a new experience for me. I seek crazy, unique, ridiculously long, challenging, out-there events to get involved with. This swim covers all the bases and is for a great cause, diabetes. No Limits will put the swim on while the American Diabetes Association will host the race and be the beneficiary.
Claudia has helped immensely with details and I have hooked up with the only other open water swim in Alaska (that I am aware of), the Pennock Island Challenge in Ketchikan. Race Director, Willie Schulz has been very helpful in assisting this new race director.
The Sitka Sound Adventure Swim is 6.2 miles and will be held on August 8, 2010. I am thinking now of actually acting outside the box, outside the brain and donning a pair of goggles. Information on the swim are at www.sitkaadventureracing.org.